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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

CHAPTER  XIX
BALABAN   AGA   MESJEDI
A SMALL Byzantine building, now used for Moslem worship under the name of Balaban Aga Mesjedi, is situated in the quarter of Shahzade, off the south side of the street leading to the mosque, of Sultan Mehemed and the gate Edirn6 KapoussL Mordtmann1 proposes to identify it with the church of the Theotokos in the district of the Curator (rov Kovpdropos), the foundation of which is ascribed to Verina, the consort of Leo Macellus (457-474)^ The only reason for this conjecture is that the church in question stood where Balaban Aga Mesjedi stands, in the neighbourhood of the forum of Taurus,8 now represented by the open area beside the War Office and the mosque of Sultan Bajazet. But the plan of the building does not correspond to the description given of the Theotokos in the district of the Curator. The latter resembled the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem/ and was therefore circular, whereas Balaban Aga Mesjedi is a hexagon. Indeed3 it may be questioned whether the building was ever a church, seeing it has no room for either a bema, or an apse, or an eikonostosis. It may have been the library of a monastic establishment.
Architectural Features
(For Plans see p. 267,)
Internally the building is an accurate hexagon, with a
deeply arched  recess in each side.    Five recesses have a
1 Esq. top. p. 70.                                                     2 Banduri, L p. 18.
3 Synax., July zznd, December 7th.                     4 Banduri, ut supra.
265